Signs your furnace needs to be repaired
You likely need to repair your furnace if it:
- Doesn’t turn on. This could mean an issue with your thermostat or a tripped circuit breaker. If you flip the breaker and it keeps tripping, don’t keep switching it back. You might overload your electrical panel.
- Is making an odd sound. Strange noises are never good. A gurgling or hissing sound could mean a refrigerant leak. If it’s more of a grinding noise, that could mean an issue with the air handler.
- Turns on and off frequently. Your heat pump should run slow and steady. If it’s turning on and off every few minutes, it could mean several things, including airflow issues or problems with the thermostat. It could also mean you have an oversized unit that’s short cycling, which means you should look into replacing your unit.
- Has water leaking from it. If there’s water pooling around your unit, it probably has a clog in the condensate line (the pipe that removes condensation from your unit).
- Doesn’t have strong airflow. If air is coming out of your vents is weaker than normal, that could mean a problem with the air handler fan belt or motor.
Is your heat pump blowing cold air in heating mode?
Check these common problems before calling a professional:
- Are you comparing it to a furnace?
First off, heat pumps aren’t designed to blow air as hot as a furnace. They provide slightly cooler air at longer run times for more even temperatures. Plus, the colder it is outside, the cooler the air a heat pump will put out because it has to work harder to pull heat from the outside air.
- Is the thermostat set to “COOL”?
It could have accidentally gotten switched to “COOL”. Make sure it’s on “HEAT”.
- Is your air filter dirty?
A clogged (dirty) air filter can cause a lot of issues for a heat pump. If your air filter is dirty, simply replace it with a new one.
- Is your outside unit dirty?
Your outdoor unit needs good airflow to keep your home warm. Make sure nothing (like plants, boxes or a fence) is blocking your outdoor unit. Also, dirt on the coils can act like an insulator and prevent refrigerant from absorbing heat. If the coils are dirty, gently clean them (they’re fragile and bend easily) with a garden hose.
- Is it in “defrost mode”?
To keep your outdoor coils from freezing up in Charlotte winters, your heat pump will enter “defrost mode”. This mode allows the outdoor coils to heat up and prevent ice from forming on the outside unit. You’ll know it’s in defrost mode if the outdoor fan has stopped running and you see puffs of steam from the unit. It should switch back to heating mode in a few minutes.
If you tried those fixes and your heat pump still isn’t blowing warm air, it’s time to call a professional to figure out the problem.